the Tilapia Welfare Project.

the Tilapia Welfare Project.

Photo: FAI Farms & Ethical Seafood Research (ESR).

New partnership aims to improve tilapia welfare in Egypt

FAI Farms and Ethical Seafood Research (ESR) are joining forces to launch the Tilapia Welfare Project in Egypt, Africa's top tilapia producer.

Egypt is Africa's top tilapia producer, accounting for 71% of the continent's tilapia output and ranking as the third largest tilapia producer globally, after China and Indonesia, according to recent figures.

However, until now, tilapia welfare has received little attention in the country, according to FAI Farms and Ethical Seafood Research (ESR), who this week announced they are partnering to launch the Tilapia Welfare Project in Egypt.

FAI and ESR describe the collaboration as "a significant milestone in addressing a previously overlooked aspect of animal welfare within the country’s aquaculture sector.

“Research carried out last year revealed tilapia welfare is completely unheard of in Egypt and it’s important this changes,” explained Wasseem Emam, ESR founder, director and lead researcher, in a press statement.

“We need to bring Egypt in line with other leading fish-producing countries and adhere to international standards if we are to secure new markets for Egyptian seafood," he said.

Tilapia Welfare Project aims to support Egypt's fish farmers

The newly-launched project aims to give farmers the tools and knowledge needed to assess and improve tilapia welfare and enhance fish performance. It has already made significant advances in mapping production practices and identifying areas for improvement, the partners say.

“ESR has always viewed farmed fish welfare as a crucial issue. It’s also a no-brainer as it benefits both the fish and the farmers by reducing disease outbreaks, mortality and the use of veterinary medicines," Emam said.

The new partnership with FAI sees ESR integrating FAI's Tilapia Welfare App into the project, providing farmers with a user-friendly platform to assess and manage the welfare of fish effectively.

Egypt could become a hub for training tilapia farmers across Africa

The partners are also delivering a series of workshops and online training to those working with Egypt’s fish farmers, with the aim "to spread the project’s impact far and wide across this important national sector".

With the right support, the project leaders believe Egypt has the potential to become a hub for training fish farmers across Africa.

“We're excited about the evolution of the project over the coming years. We expect to benefit from FAI’s expertise in this area and considerable knowledge from carrying out similar work in other countries,” Emam noted.

“We currently have two members of the FAI team in Egypt. They are undertaking farm visits to share findings of fish welfare research and provide practical advice to Egyptian farmers and aquaculture professionals," he added.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>"We need to be working in countries where tilapia is being produced at scale," says FAI CEO Øistein Thorsen.</p></div>

"We need to be working in countries where tilapia is being produced at scale," says FAI CEO Øistein Thorsen.

Photo: FAI

FAI's CEO, Øistein Thorsen said that in order to achieve the goals of FAI’s global Tilapia Welfare Project, "we need to be working in countries where tilapia is being produced at scale."

"We’re thrilled to be launching the project in Egypt, together with ESR. Together we will be driving improvements across major areas of the tilapia production cycle that can yield benefits to farmer profits and fish wellbeing in Egypt," Thorsen added.

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